July 23, 2024
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The Depleting A.T.M. and How to Increase Your Assets

After spiking during COVID when everyone received government stimulus, the average consumer savings rate is now plummeting, according to new data from the Federal Reserve. It’s simple mathematics; with the cost of living still rising and income not keeping up with inflation, U.S. households are running at a deficit.

Anyone with a checking account is familiar with the basic banking premise: Withdrawals are only possible after deposits have been made. You cannot withdraw more than you put in without wreaking havoc or being penalized. This fundamental principle holds true for all forms of currency, not just your bank account.

Life operates on a system of deposits and withdrawals. At the heart of this concept is the notion of “Actions That Matter” (A.T.M.). Every action you take, every struggle you endure, and every effort you invest in yourself and others is a deposit into your personal A.T.M.. The more significant and genuine these actions, the more you accumulate in your account. The goal is to do as many meaningful A.T.M. to build up your portfolio.

Think of your close friendships, family relationships and professional associations as the assets in your life. They are the beneficiaries of your emotional and social bank account. Like a financial bank account, these relationships require regular deposits to thrive and yield returns. Acts of kindness, support and genuine interest in others are deposits that pay dividends in the form of trust, love and support when you need them the most.

In the professional world, networking is the equivalent of making deposits into your career’s A.T.M.. Every interaction, collaboration and shared experience is a deposit that can lead to valuable opportunities and growth. Networking is not merely about collecting business cards or social media connections, it’s about building authentic relationships that provide mutual benefit. When you invest in others, they are more likely to invest in you.

One of the most valuable deposits you can make in your life is seeking a mentor. Mentorship is like an investment in wisdom and guidance. Mentors are experienced experts who have made significant deposits in their own life’s A.T.M.. Their willingness to share their knowledge and experiences is a generous withdrawal from their wealth of wisdom. In return, you can make deposits of your own by showing dedication, respect and appreciation.

Another substantial deposit you can make is into your own personal development. Continuous learning, self-improvement and honing your skills are like regular contributions into your life’s 401(k). These deposits compound over time, growing your wealth in knowledge, skills and opportunities.

Just as in a financial bank account, overdrawn accounts lead to trouble. In the depleting A.T.M. of life, overextending yourself, neglecting relationships, or failing to invest in self-improvement can result in an emptied account. When you need support, advice or opportunities, you might find that account empty. The bottom line is to keep making deposits, knowing that your actions today will impact the withdrawals you can make tomorrow.

Shoutout and birthday wishes to Dr. Jonathan Abenaim, Matthew Giller, Miriam Hindin, Teri Klug, Naama Manahan, Ari Nat, Glenn Pfeiffer, Shlomo Saalkind, Asher Silber and Neal Yaros – with a special happy birthday to my daughter, Adina Shayowitz.


Shmuel Shayowitz (NMLS#19871) is a highly regarded real estate and finance executive, writer, speaker, coach and adviser. He is president and chief lending officer of Approved Funding, a privately held national mortgage banker and direct lender. Shmuel has over 20 years of industry experience, holding numerous licenses and accreditations, including certified mortgage underwriter, licensed real estate agent, residential review appraiser, and accredited investor, to name a few. Shmuel has successfully navigated through many changing markets and business landscapes, making his market insights and experience well-coveted within the real estate industry. He can be reached via email at [email protected].

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